More therapists recruited for Pieta in Letterkenny

MORE therapists have been recruited at Pieta House’s Letterkenny centre in order to meet the increased demand for their services.
So far this year demand is up 22 per cent compared to last year, according to Tom McEvoy, the charity’s funding and advocacy manager who spoke to the Donegal News this week about their recruitment drive.
Mr McEvoy said the North West Centre in Letterkenny now has eight full-time therapists which represents and increase of two therapists in the last three months.
“We are obviously happy about people coming to our services but we are concerned about the increase in numbers,” said Mr McEvoy.
“We are recruiting more staff to cope with the increased demand.
“In Letterkenny there has been an increase in the last three months of two more people that have joined Pieta and we are constantly on look out for people willing to work with us.”
In 2020 the Letterkenny centre helped 400 people and already this year the figure is up 22 per cent.
Mr McEvoy said if demand keeps rising they will be recruiting more staff and encouraged anyone interested to keep an eye on their website.
Last year the future of the service was in doubt due to a financial crisis but thanks to a massive fundraising effort through this year’s Darkness Into Light event funding has been secured.
“Through Darkness Into Light we raised over €8m from this year’s event which is a huge increase on last year. That is thanks to the amazing people of Donegal and the rest of the country.”
Worryingly there has been a significant increase in young people under 18 receiving support from the suicide and self-harm prevention charity. National figures show there has been a 40 per cent increase in demand for support for under 18s.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Pieta has developed phone and video therapy services in addition to providing therapy in its 20 locations nationwide.
Mr McEvoy said many people are happy to continue to use phone or video therapy but people deemed to be in a crisis situation can avail of face-to-face therapy.
Asked about the reason for the increased demand for help Mr McEvoy said he believes Covid-19 has something to do with it as people are living in different situations and dealing with different social pressures.
“People are living in isolation more and are feeling a lot more lonely,” he said.
“Self esteem is quite low in people coming to our doors.”
The majority (70 per cent) of people under the age of 18 coming to their doors are female which has prompted the charity to appeal to men to reach out if they need help.
He said unfortunately more men die by suicide and asked everyone to look out for male relatives and friends, ask them how they are and if they need support to get in contact.
If you are concerned about someone or are experiencing suicide ideation please call Pieta’s Freephone 24/7 Crisis Helpline 1800 247 247.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland